Nana Recipe Wednesday–The Best Sugar Cookies

by Sarah on December 21, 2011

A friend and neighbor recently had both her computer hard drive crash and her wallet stolen. That called for cookies.  And since it was raining cats and dogs today….and I didn’t feel like going to the store……

Do I ever feel like going to the store?  Never mind that.

I found this little old recipe clipped from a newspaper.  I don’t know if Nana made these often or not, but I don’t remember them.  The clipping says that these are “The Easiest and Best Sugar Cookies You Ever Ate”.    And you know, they may well be.

The expression on Nana’s face below is priceless.  My Chrissie Hynde hairdo and Led Zeppelin t-shirt are also priceless.

Since I discovered this recipe, I make these cookies a lot at Christmastime.  You can’t really cut them into shapes, so that sucks, but they are soft and tasty unlike some of those sugar cookies that are hard and too sweet…..I guess you have to sacrifice little Christmas tree shapes and whatnot for flavor and texture sometimes.

And the clipping IS right in regards to these being easy, also.  Basically you cream the butter and sugar, then dump the rest of the stuff in the mixer and let the dough come together.  Roll into little balls and then roll in sugar.

The directions on the recipe tell you to smoosh these cookies with a jar lid, kind of turning it when you smoosh.  I think this helps the cookie retain it’s round shape.  Because of course, I rebelled and didn’t turn a few—those cookies were a little sad and misshapen.

Of course you could also use a fork or something, not unlike peanut butter cookies.

Now the thing about these cookies is that you bake them for EXACTLY 12 MINUTES.  NO MORE AND NO LESS.

They won’t even look like they’re done, but trust me, they are done.  If you leave them there any longer they will be hard little hockey pucks.

So:  Mix, roll, and bake for exactly 12 minutes.  Perfect cookies every time.

Nana's Best Sugar Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • More granulated sugar for rolling


  • Preheat oven to 350*. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Shape into a walnut-sized ball and roll in granulated sugar.
  • Press down with a jar lid, twisting as pressing down--or use a fork.
  • Sprinkle more sugar on top of cookies.
  • Place on a nonstick or lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

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